Designing Your Race Day Nutrition Plan

March 30, 2023

Designing Your Race Day Nutrition Plan

Race Day Nutrition is often overlooked leading to running on empty, an under-par performance, experiencing fatigue during the race and sometimes unpleasant symptoms.

All of which can be distracting to say the least. On the plus side – get it right and we’ll perform, recover, and feel better and potentially have the edge – it’s a WIN-WIN and our mantra is “don’t let nutrition be the limiting factor in your running performance”.

Today we are going to talk about:

1.    Your Race Day Nutrition Timeline

2.    Our Real Food suggestions for what and when to eat

3.    Finally … our personal Race Day Nutrition non-negotiables

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Designing Your Race Day Nutrition Plan



What NOT to do! Aileen and Karen share their experiences. One of the cardinal rules is that on race day you NEVER EAT OR DRINK anything you haven’t practiced in training.


Our approach to designing your race day timeline to include nutrition and key timings.

Email us at if you’d like our template.


What and when to eat for your pre-race meal. Suggestions for eating at home and for some ideas if you are eating whilst travelling.


Should I drink coffee pre-race?


Quick tips on pre-race hydration and electrolytes.

There are many different brands of electrolytes out there but one we like and recommend are Elete Electrolyte because they are easy to use, easy to carry and mostly tasteless…just a hint of sodium in your water.

We both use ELETE and we’ve set up a special offer for you to try them out – you’ll get all the details on our website – go to SHOP and look at our FAVOURITE Supplements page – you’ll find ELETE Drops with discount CODE RHH15 which will give you 15% discount, please feel free to share with your running friends.


Pre- Race Real Food snacks containing quick release carbohydrates.


During race fuelling – what and when?


Simple real food suggestions and hydration reminders


Post-Race Recovery Nutrition


Should I treat myself with food and alcohol after a race?


An introduction to our 1:1 Personalised Nutrition Services and an invitation to book a free WORK WITH US CALL


Some of our nutritional non-negotiables when it comes to preparing for and executing a nutritional race-day plan


KEY TAKEAWAYS ( see below)

Designing your Race Day Nutrition Plan

Planning TIPS for Race Day Success

START PRACTICING pre, during, post fuelling several weeks before your race so you have lots of time to trial and test out what suits you.

FINE TUNE your everyday nutrition 2-3 weeks before the race so you are feeling fit and energetic ahead of the race – good nutrition will support energy and your immune system helping to protect against common colds and infections. No one wants their final preparations disrupted by illness.

PLAN all of your activities in the lead up to the race to be supportive of your race goals e.g. regular meals, minimal alcohol, optimal nutrition and hydration, relaxation and sleep, a light social calendar and schedule in easy light activity for active recovery.

GET ORGANISED well ahead of race day.

DO YOUR FOOD SHOPPING a few days ahead of the race – for your pre-race meal, during race snacks and for post-race snacks and meals.

PLAN HOW YOU WILL CARRY SNACKS  and drinks to start of the race and what you’ll use during the race eg a belt or camel bak.

PACK AHEAD – f your snacks and drinks are non-perishable, pack your bag the day before it’ll save time on race day.

PREPARE or semi prepare your pre-race meal the day before and you may even consider preparing post race meals for arriving home.

DON’T RELY on catering provisions by race organisers. You can’t always rely on quality of food and drinks so it’s best to be self sufficient. However, if you do wish to have their catering at fuelling stations then check ahead what will be available so you can try similar foods and products in training. This probably more critical if you are running in an ultra-distance over several hours.

The important thing is not to leave anything to chance – plan/prepare/shop for/arrange/request whatever you require.

  • If you’re at home, then you’re easily in charge of what and when you’ll eat
  • If you’re travelling – take a packed lunch or snacks for your journey
  • If you’re staying with family or friends … have a conversation, explain what you’ll want/require to eat and offer to bring the ingredients with you
  • If you’re in a hotel – check the menu there or at local restaurants – make a booking for the time you wish
  • If you’re self-catering – make a shopping list and plan how you’ll do the shopping

THE EVENING BEFORE THE RACE DON’T have any stimulating foods and drinks ….so ideally no caffeine, no alcohol, no chocolate either You’ll need a good night’s sleep and no stimulants will help.

FOLLOW your Race Day Nutrition Plan and remember NOT to eat or drink anything on race day that you haven’t practiced in training.


Designing your Race Day Nutrition Plan

1.    Create your race timeline and add key times you’ll be eating and drining

2.    Calculate when you should eat working backwards from your race start time

3.    Eat Carbohydrate rich pre-race meal approx. 2-3 hours before race

4.    Hydrate optimally before the race

5.    Eat a quick release CHO snack 30-60 minutes before the race

6.    Fuel with 30-60g quick release CHO foods per hour during race and keep hydrated

7.    Remember to eat a Quick Release CHO food within 30 minutes of end of race.

8.    Plan a post run snack or meal approx. 2 hours after race with CHO:PRO with a ratio of 4:1

Related Episodes:


The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

Remember we are available to support you if required contact us at hello@

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